Prince Avenue Christian School’s boys basketball team is trying to find its groove.
The Wolverines held a 4-6 record as of press time.
Though they have mostly played teams from bigger classifications, the Wolverines left most of their losses feeling as if there were chances to win.
Prince Avenue Christian lost its first game of the year to Madison County, 64-58. Its next loss was against Westminster (Atlanta), 49-40.
The Wolverines fell to Apalachee 55-50 before taking a 65-60 loss to Commerce and a 77-55 defeat against Winder-Barrow.
After a two-game winning streak, Prince Avenue Christian lost its final game of 2021 last Thursday, falling 70-52 at Washington-Wilkes in a game that was close throughout.
Wolverines head coach Brandon Jones said after the Washington-Wilkes game that he and the team must find the missing ingredients to cashing in on those chances for victories.
“There were a few games and a few instances where we're not understanding what I need as a coach,” Jones said. “So, I need to do a better job of explaining and teaching. The effort's there at times but I want it to be there 99.9. That's what I need more of.”
More specifically, Jones said he wants to see the offense pick things up.
The Wolverines were only down by 3 at the end of last Thursday’s first quarter, but the score was only 10-7 thanks to a handful of misses and turnovers.
“We cannot have a single-digit quarter and expect to beat Washington-Wilkes at Washington-Wilkes. That's not going to happen,” Jones said. “So, we have to be more prepared and that is on me.”
Of course, Prince Avenue Christian secured a handful of wins during the first half of the season, too.
The Wolverines opened the 2021-22 slate on Nov. 18 with a 62-44 victory over Brookstone.
They got another win Nov. 22 against East Jackson. They toppled Lakeview Academy 65-48 on Dec. 18 before securing a second win over East Jackson on Dec. 21, 76-48.
Jones said that James Robach, Robert Skaggs and Josh Britt were among the top performers across the early slate of games.
“I love James Robach because of his I.Q. He's always a leader on the floor, classroom, practice, on the bus. He's definitely stepped up,” Jones said. “Skaggs this year has done a great job. He's a junior this year and he's been beat up all throughout his high school career by those older guys and he's wanting to contribute more. Josh Britt is another one who has always stepped up, just always does the right thing, always in the right spots.”
Additionally, Jones said that Weston Elrod performed well during team practices last week. That led to ample playing time against Washington-Wilkes, during which Jones said that Elrod “played his behind off.”
The Wolverines begin region play this Friday at Athens Christian School.
On Saturday, they will take on Region 8-A-Private foe Tallulah Falls before playing Loganville Christian Academy, Athens Academy, George Walton Academy and Tallulah Falls again all in a row.
Jones said he wants his team to focus on rebounding as region play begins. He also wants to see the Wolverines’ composure improving, pointing out that they received two technical fouls in the game against Washington-Wilkes.
“Rebounding is all I care about, practice-wise and drill-wise,” Jones said. “If we're not boxing out, we're running for it. Listening to the referee, now we've got to figure out what's going on in our brains. We got two technicals (against Washington-Wilkes). We've got to figure that out.”
Jones anticipates tough competition within the region, but he said he wants his players to continue giving their maximum effort no matter what.
“Play hard. That's all I care about,” he said. “Record-wise, it is what it is. We've got some great region teams.”